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Friday, March 1 • 10:30 - 12:00
Breakout session: Identity Text Projects: Generating Academic Power in Multilingual Classrooms FULL

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Identity Text Projects: Generating Academic Power in Multilingual Classrooms
The term ‘identity text’ is intended to highlight the powerful connections between literacy and pupils’ evolving identities. Pupils invest their identities in the creation of various kinds of ‘texts’ which can be written, spoken, signed, visual, musical, dramatic, or combinations in multimodal form. The identity text then holds a mirror up to pupils in which their identities are reflected back in a positive light. When pupils share identity texts with multiple audiences (peers, teachers, parents, grandparents, sister classes, the media, etc.) they are likely to receive positive feedback and affirmation of self in interaction with these audiences. This identity affirmation, in turn, fuels further engagement with literacy. Thus, identity text projects represent an expression of identity, a projection of identity into new social spheres, and a re-creation of identity as a result of feedback from and dialogue with multiple audiences.
The presentation will describe a variety of identity text projects implemented in multilingual school contexts (both international schools and public/state schools). When bilingual/multilingual students write in both their home language and the school language, the identity text validates their bilingualism as a personal and academic asset and challenges the widespread societal (and sometimes educational) prejudice that devalues their linguistic talents. The presentation outlines how innovative educational practice intersects with research and theoretical claims and highlights the role of teachers as knowledge-generators.

avatar for Jim Cummins

Jim Cummins

Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto
Jim Cummins is a Professor Emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. His research focuses on literacy development in educational contexts characterized by linguistic diversity. In numerous articles and books he has explored the nature... Read More →
avatar for Lara Rikers

Lara Rikers

Primary School EAL Leader & Y3 EAL Teacher, International School of The Hague
Lara Rikers is an experienced Primary School Teacher and EAL Team Leader. With over fifteen years of teaching, in both Dutch and International settings, Lara actively uses her multilingual background to accelerate the language learning of her students. In her role as EAL Team Leader... Read More →
avatar for Mindy McCracken

Mindy McCracken

Mother Tongue and Identity Language Leader/EAL Teacher, International School of the Hague
Mindy holds a degree in Environmental Studies and a Multiple Subject Teaching credential with a built-in CLAD (Cross-Cultural, Language and Academic Development) concentration to support second language learners. This specific expertise has been essential for her successful classroom... Read More →

Friday March 1, 2019 10:30 - 12:00
Breakout room: Mancy